(Not) boring finds for June 2016

June 2, 2016 | Andrew Johnson Print

Here is our monthly smorgasbord of links for the voraciously curious. These are interesting, sometimes strange and insightful reads we came across during our daily research, a discussion at the water cooler, or read on the train. Sometimes they relate to investing, sometimes they’re simply things that make us go hmmm….

Farnham Street – Incentives Gone Wrong: Cobras, Severed Hands, and Shea Butter

We like this cautionary tale about what can happen when incentives go wrong.

“It’s imperative that we think very literally about the incentive systems we create. Remember that incentives are not only financial. Frequently it’s something else: prestige, freedom, time, titles, sex, power, admiration…all of these and many other things are powerful incentives. But if we’re not careful, we do the equivalent of creating an economy for severed hands.”

Council on Foreign Relations – Global Economics Monthly May 2016

Don’t let the boring title fool you. This piece illuminates the Venezuelan crisis like a plot summary for the Game of Thrones.

“‘The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought.’ That’s exactly the Venezuelan story. It will take forever and then it will happen overnight.”

Boston Consulting Group – The Introverted Corporation

This article underscores the value in being customer centric. Paying attention to behavioural cues from clients and incorporating this information into your business strategy can lead to positive results.

“Our research suggests that customer insights are underexploited in business decision making; and regardless of how much a company spends on customer insights, the capability to capture and integrate them is often poorly developed. In other words, many companies are effectively “introverted,” underutilizing external information and signals from customers.”

Futurism – Artificially Intelligent Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm

Just because we’ve had artificial intelligence on the brain lately (see last week’s blog, “Artificial Intelligence: From Checkmate to Teammate”).

“You ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and ROSS then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly.”

World Economic Forum – Winning Without Superstars

What you can learn from Leicester City’s remarkable feat in the English Premier League:

  • Servant leadership
  • The power of teamwork
  • Analyze …
  • … and find undervalued talent

ThreeStarLeadership – Don’t Worry About Being Humble, Just Do It

Some wisdom on the virtues of humility: what it looks like, how to do it, and why it’s important.

“Humility is the awareness that there’s a lot you don’t know and that a lot of what you think you know is distorted or wrong.”


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